• Lydia Espinoza

Arting around town

It’s been a little over two months since I’ve visited an art space or seen an exhibition in person and I’m definitely missing it. Lucky for me, some outdoor exhibitions opened over the weekend just in time to ease my art woes, Durden and Ray’s We Are Here/Here We Are curated by Sean Noyce and TZ Projects’s Going Home: a picture show founded by Torie Zalben. 

I’ll admit I was a little nervous and somewhat hesitant to trek out beyond my neighborhood. I hadn't driven since the lockdown began and was concerned about how I would navigate the my art tour. Ultimately, I figured it would be a nice drive with the added bonus of seeing art. Before I left the house, I planned out all my stops and entered them into the Google maps app. I decided that I would stay in the car so I set a time-limit for myself to not get carried away. I didn't know what to expect other than I would see some art, but I was curious how they would be displayed, would I find them, what if I needed to get out of the car. All of these concerns and questions went away as soon as I found the first artwork on my list, Camilla Taylor’s Gathering.

I was immediately filled with art happiness and my natural art hopping instinct kicked in. I had a great time as I continued my art tour throughout the different neighborhoods and public spaces. It was a refreshing experience to view art out in the open in various installations and to see how each of the artists responded to their immediate environments. 

As I drove up and down streets and alleyways, made not-so-subtle u-turns and parked awkwardly to see the artworks and snap a few pics, it reminded me a lot of trekking through the Coachella Valley for Desert X last year minus all the sand. The idea of art as part of the environment and then exploring and engaging that same environment to see the art is what I see in both of these exhibitions and perhaps is the takeaway.

I was able to visit a little more than a dozen locations and I hope to see a few more throughout the run of the show.

Artworks shown above: (left to right, starting at the top) Central Sensitization, 2020, Rebecca Niederlander; Homage to Mestra Didi, 2014, Mark Steven Greenfield; Bubblewrap Giraffe, 2013, Colin Roberts; LA torn apart, 2020, Dani Dodge & My Imaginary Wall, 2020, Kristine Schomaker; Para el Barrio (For the Neighborhood), 2020, Andrew Phillip Cortes; Color Talk, 2020, Dawn Arrowsmith; Corta, Constance, Richard, and Sharon (A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose), 2020, Adam Francis Scott & Julie Whaley; Ars Moriendi, 2012-2014, Dave Bondi; They Will Not Find Me, 2020, Chenhung Chen; Sunrise on a side street, 2020, Michael Rollins; Harmony in my Head, 2019, Hagop Najarian; Beach Bum, 2020, Dakota Noot; Tall Fescue, 2018, Andrea Bersaglieri; The Sun Came Out Last Night and Sang to Me, 2017, Ismael de Anda III.

We Are Here/Here We Are is on view through June 20th with locations all across LA County. I’m pretty sure you’ll even find some in your neighborhood. For more details about the exhibition, click here.

I was also very happy to learn that the art viewing experience does not end at sundown. There are night time art views to be had. After sundown, I enlisted an art buddy/driver (I wanted to ensure optimal photo-taking) and headed over to see TZ Project’s inaugural show, Going Home: a picture show featuring over 150 artists.

Going Home: a picture show features images that take into consideration the idea of home from various perspectives. The slideshow takes place in the windows of the space that formerly housed Taschen Gallery on Beverly Blvd. It was cool to enjoy the slideshow from inside the car like a drive-in movie. There was even a corresponding playlist, TZ Projects, by Queen Kwong to listen to while enjoying the slideshow. The artwork featured in the main window in photo above is by Gooey. You can catch the slideshow every night 6pm to midnight until May 20th. For more details about the show click here.

It's very inspiring and exciting to see art shows starting to pop up. They bring with them a hint of normalcy and connectedness that is very much needed. Further, its even more exciting to see others thinking beyond the gallery walls and responding to the current needs and special circumstances of the community.

So, if you’re missing art in your life, I suggest taking a little drive or walk, safely, and take in some art views. Stay safe and healthy!

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